Yep, a battle of the blenders.
The lovely thegarsowtwins, a/k/a Twinspiration had seen my prior post on a recent E.L.F. haul (that included in a picture its version of a beauty sponge/blender), had commented about their love for the Morphe blender, and wondered about the Beauty Blender. I had balked at the idea of paying $20.00 (U.S.) dollars for a sponge, unless it massaged me, told me I was pretty awesome and made me dinner. But in the quest for makeup or breakup, I put my resistance aside, dug in the pockets and paid the money for the “beauty standard” — the Beauty Blender. The Beauty Blender is usually seen as a bright neon pink color, but also comes in various other colors like black, purple and white. I chose white.
When it came in the box, my jaw literally dropped. WTH???!! THIS for $20.00???!! The size of an egg???!!
Then I recalled how YT’ers talked of “wetting the sponge” for better makeup application so I assume this grows larger as I’ve seen them look in YT videos.
But still. A bit of a shock.
This sponge, when squeezed gently, is a little marshmallow, but it’s not overly mushy. It has a firmness but still soft.
Here is what it looks like, growing to the size of a Real Technique sponge when moistened. When applying makeup product, such as liquid foundation, the Beauty Blender does the job. However, I found the point that it has is not that great to get into the nooks and crannies. It’s very broad. Which explains why I see some YT’ers “slap” or “pat/pound” themselves to death with it to apply makeup. But the Beauty Blender is gentle to the skin and the foundation looks flawless and smooth on the skin, very natural when moistened.
I also got the sponge from Real Techniques, as I kept reading about this being a close dupe to the Original Beauty Blender. I was able to get a set, that included two makeup brushes, all for around $14.85. I had heard the brushes they made were also pretty decent, it seemed a lot of YT’ers utilized either this brand, Morphe or E.L.F. for every day use.
The Real Techniques sponge is almost double the size of and has a special cut on one side of the sponge. The firmness of this sponge is more solid and the RT sponge is a little heavier than the Original Blender. And this is before both are moistened. When moistened, the Real Techniques takes on product but doesn’t absorb it to the point you have nothing to work with on your face. The corner cut off takes a bit of getting used to because it’s so flat and your face has curves. So it works well across one’s forehead but then to use the corner of it to apply under your eyes is a bit of a longer surface of a sponge to work the product in which some of you may or may not like. I didn’t have a problem with it. I like that.
The E.L.F. blending sponge has a slightly different design but still has that pointed top in order to reach the nooks and crannies of one’s face to distribute and blend product. This sponge is THE softest, lightest and squishiest of all the sponges featured here today. It’s like a really fresh very very soft marshmallow. It felt very luxurious. It was the first sponge I tried. So mistakes were made. I applied a liquid foundation with this while the sponge itself was dry. This soaked up product like nobody’s business and didn’t distribute it. Very streaky. Kind of sad about that. But it’s very gentle, no tug, no pull. Perhaps I will try again with it moistened first and see if the performance result changes. NOTE: I just read the packaging though and it reads that if I want a “sheer coverage” to moisten it. So as far as getting regular good coverage, that’s not happening. I don’t want to give up on this, E.L.F. So imagine my surprise when I checked their website….
The E.L.F. sponge is listed on the E.L.F. site as “new and improved – latex free” — I’m not sure if I have the new version as I bought this at a Target haul a couple weeks back. It costs $5.00 (U.S.) on their website and is also sold at Ulta. Interestingly, Target online costs $6.00 and Amazon charges $9.00 (U.S.).
From a recent Target haul, I picked up this Up & Up Super Blender – two versions, one of just the sponge and the second called a “Blender Pro Stick” that is much smaller sponge on an applicator stick. You can replace the applicator with the second sponge head that is included in the starter pack. Apparently this Up & Up is exclusive to Target. I paid $3.99 for the single super blender when I was in-store but on the Target site now it reads $4.99 (U.S.). The Pro Stick version is $8.99.
The Super Blender (dark pink lone one on the left) is actually one I’ve been using regularly. This is the second one I used after starting with the E.L.F. one. I have not felt the need to wet it, and just use it dry. It is a firm sponge, just a tad softer than the Real Techniques version, doesn’t overly absorb makeup product and distributes product well. The tip is more pronounced on this than on Beauty Blender — and is perfect for under my eyes to put concealer and setting powder a/k/a nooks and crannies. The liquid foundation coverage is beautiful, no streaking, smooth, no unevenness.
Interestingly, a lot of the Morphe blenders have been out of stock. The pink single one called “Flawless” ($5.99 U.S.) looks very much in silhouette like the Up & Up version. The “Premium” one ($6.99 U.S.) looks like a combination of Real Techinques with the one side cut and the curvy body of the Up & Up and E.L.F. I’d like to try out both versions but it seems they just got the Flawless one back in stock. Once it’s in stock I will pick it up and compare.
And…finally…also from the Target haul, these lovely makeup wedge sponges (old school) also from Up & Up, also latex-free, priced at $1.74, is the cheapest of the blenders listed here today.
These wedges were not bad. Yes, they do absorb some product, but they distributed the product well. I used a foundation (used the Maybelline Fit Me! Matte on one and Palladio Powder Liquid Foundation on another) and concealer for one wedge to take care of on my face and it did the job. I used it dry. Nothing streaky, cakey or unnatural looking. These are usually one time use for one piece of wedge, then tossed away. So if you are into consolidating your waste output this may not be for you. But then because of the one time use of each wedge (30-32 come in a pack like this above) the sanitary issue is resolved, you don’t have to worry about mold or something getting in your beauty blender routine. So for health reasons, that’s another plus. NOTE: I used one wedge to apply both foundation and concealer – so there was no multiple wedges to use on my face each day. One wedge did the trick.
Hmmm. So if I am looking at performance, sanitary and price these old school cosmetic wedges do the job just fine.
If I had to choose “higher end”, I’d put the Up & Up single Super Blender first, followed by Beauty Blender and Real Techniques. Out of all of them, the pure squishy ultra softness of the E.L.F. one felt the best when applying makeup on my skin. Just wish it didn’t absorb the product into itself so much. The others when dry didn’t absorb as much to become utterly soggy.
I will use all these sponges, since I bought them. But seriously the wedges are cool.